What is Inhalation Therapy for Asthma?

When it comes to treatment options for respiratory diseases like asthma, inhalation therapy  is one of the most preferred choices. So, what is inhalation therapy exactly? It’s simple. Instead of taking any oral medication such as pills through your mouth, you breathe it in through inhalation devices.

Benefits of Inhalation Therapy for Asthma

Respiratory therapy or care is a type of health care that involves evaluating and diagnosing patients with respiratory issues and providing treatment, management, and ongoing assessments to improve breathing. This form of treatment comes with many benefits for asthma. Some of the benefits of inhalation therapy include:

  • Medication Directly Reaches The Lungs

Since asthma management is related to managing symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, etc. that are related to inflammation in the lungs, if the medication reaches the respiratory system directly, it can be more effective. This is exactly what happens with inhalation therapy as you breathe in the medication with the help of inhalation devices.

  • Options For Medication

The medication delivered through inhalation therapy is also of many types, so doctors can prescribe the drugs that suit the patient. For asthma, this might include a controller medication and a reliever medication. Controllers help you manage your symptoms long-term and reliever medications can act fast and be used in emergencies such as an asthma attack.

  • Low Dosage of Medication

Another benefit of inhalation therapy over pills is that a lower dosage of medication is required since the medication doesn’t need to filter through the body to reach the lungs. This leads to fewer side effects.

Inhalation Therapy Devices

There are two main kinds of inhalation therapy devices: inhalers and nebulizers. Both inhalers and nebulizers have their own uses and your doctor can prescribe one that suits you.

  • Inhalers

Inhalers are small, compact devices that come in many different forms. There are pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs) which contain medication that can be sprayed and inhaled, dry powder inhalers (DPIs) which contain the medication as a dry powder that can be inhaled through inspiratory effort, and breath-actuated inhalers which release the medication as you breathe in. Inhalers make it easy for people with asthma to take their prescribed medication themselves without needing any additional help. Since they are usually small, they can also be carried easily so you don’t miss taking your dosage even if you are on the move.

  • Nebulizers

  Nebulizers are also a type of inhalation therapy device which releases medication that can be then breathed in. However, there are some key differences between nebulizers and inhalers. A liquid medication solution is added to a nebulizer which is then converted to a mist that can be inhaled. Unlike inhalers, most nebulizers need a power source to operate so electricity is required. They are also bulkier, require some setup, and can be more expensive than inhalers. But you can expect your nebulizer to last much longer than an inhaler if it is maintained with care.

Inhalation therapy is simple to follow and as mentioned, comes with many benefits. If you have been diagnosed with asthma, you can consult your doctor for inhalation therapy treatment options and find what works best for managing your condition.


  1. https://www.breathefree.com/inhalers-a-z/all-about-inhalers
  2. https://www.breathefree.com/blogs/why-inhalershainsahi-answers-your-inhaler-questions
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/in-depth/asthma-medications/art-20045557
  4. https://www.breathefree.com/blogs/difference-between-controller-inhalers-and-rescue-inhalers
  5. https://www.breathefree.com/blogs/7-differences-between-inhalers-nebulizers-you-should-know